Shutdown theater: How is it playing?

Over the past week we have witnessed the impressive shutdown theater engineered by the Obama administration. By shutdown theater I am referring to the closing or Barrycading of such landmarks as the WWII memorial, Jefferson Memorial, the Lincoln Memorial and the Iwo Jima Memorial.

What is to be learned? This is political hardball, intended to induce unconditional surrender in the current and prospective budget/debt showdowns. Obama asserts a maximalist position and we are to be impressed by the lengths to which Obama will go in order to prevail. He is utterly confident in the cover that the media will provide for him.

Obama has adopted a Chicago-style variant of a time-tested strategy, but is it working? Probably. He holds a lot of the cards and is counting on the GOP to fold. It’s not a bad bet.

Yet as we have seen, the current environment is susceptible to influence by the dissemination of information and images that are, from the perspective of the Obama administration, unfriendly and unhelpful. It appears that Obama likes his position and the Republicans would give up if they could come away with anything. If the Republicans can maintain their composure while holding a disadvantageous position — concededly a big if — we may find that we are writing a new chapter of an old story. As for the moment, I’m leaving it an open question.

UPDATE: RCP’s Carl Cannon has more here.


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